Breaking Down Tajh Boyd and His 2014 NFL Draft Prospects

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Breaking Down Tajh Boyd and His 2014 NFL Draft Prospects
Mike Stewart/Associated Press
Tajh Boyd

Tajh Boyd was an excellent quarterback at Clemson, but scouts are questioning whether or not his game will transfer over well to the NFL. After his win over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2012, Boyd was considered a possible first-round pick. However, his stock has dropped substantially since then leading up to the 2014 NFL draft.

Every year it seems an outstanding college quarterback goes undrafted or drops significantly due to being undersized. 

 

College Career

Boyd will go down as one of the best ACC quarterbacks of all time. He set the record for passing touchdowns with 107 in his career. Boyd also became the first player in ACC history to pass for more than 30 touchdowns in three different seasons. 

He posted great numbers in the three years he started.

Tajh Boyd's stats
Year Completion percentage Passing Yards Passing TDs Interceptions QB Rating Rushing Yards Rushing TDs
2010 52.4 329 4 3 107.7 33 1
2011 59.7 3828 33 12 141.2 218 5
2012 67.2 3896 36 13 165.6 514 10
2013 68.5 3851 34 11 168.7 400 10

ESPN.com

As you can see by the numbers, Boyd was also a great runner. He does not possess Johnny Manziel's speed, but is deceptively quick for a quarterback. He also is not afraid to run over a defender. 

The knock against Boyd is that he played with great receivers. Wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant may have inflated Boyd's numbers, as they almost always had the advantage over the opposing cornerbacks. At the NFL level, he will not be given this edge. 

 

Senior Bowl, NFL Combine and Pro Day

Boyd had a chance to prove himself in front of NFL scouts at the Senior Bowl. Instead, he had a terrible game, which left scouts questioning if he should even be drafted.

He was just 7-of-16 for 31 yards and an interception in the game.

At the combine, Boyd was solid, but not spectacular.

He is short. He measured in at 6'1", and there is no getting around that for people focused on having size at quarterback. Russell Wilson's success may help out Boyd's draft stock, but he is not the ideal size for a quarterback.

According to nfl.com, Boyd received a score of 5.45 at the combine. This puts him in NFL backup territory. He ran a 4.84 in the 40-yard dash, which was only good for seventh amongst the quarterbacks. However, his running style does not rely on pure speed.  

Boyd really shined at Clemson's pro day. He completed 66 of 67 throws, with the only incompletion a dropped pass.

Here is what Boyd had to say about the performance, according to Mark Crammer of orangeandwhite.com:

"I had a chance to spin it today," said Boyd. "It was better than the Combine. I was more comfortable and more relaxed. I was able to show every throw - the out-routes, the deep comeback, the post. This was the cleanest I've been, even working out this week."

 

Draft Outlook

Tajh Boyd Breakdown

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney had nothing but good things to say about Boyd. He really praised Boyd's leadership, according to tigernet.com:

"Whoever gets him," Swinney said. "He is going to change their franchise just like he changed Clemson. That young man changed Clemson. We have won more games in the last three years than anytime in the history of the school - back to back eleven win seasons. That's the first time that has ever happened. Tajh Boyd has been our leader. Not just the quarterback. He's been the leader of this team." 

It would surprise me to not see a single team take a shot on Boyd. ESPN's NFL draft expert, Mel Kiper Jr., sees him going in the fifth or sixth round. 

While he most likely won't be an early pick anymore, Boyd is a great leader and could develop into an NFL starter or at the least a very capable backup. The Clemson star will look to prove the critics wrong at the next level.

**All Stats from ESPN.com unless noted otherwise

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